‘Tis the season to be jolly?
Perhaps, but for many the holiday season can be a tough one. Jolly isn’t really what they’re feeling.
Stress, sadness, despair even. These are some of the feelings that families have expressed to me during our closed-door funeral meetings.
For anyone who has experienced a loss during the Christmas season, quite often, the following years are never quite the same. I know, because I’m one of those people.
For funeral directors, Christmas is usually one of the most stressful times of the year. You see, we have also experienced our own losses, and have the same family and social demands as everyone else.
We also happen to be surrounded by families who need our experience and expertise to guide them through one of the most emotionally stressful times of their life. Not only have they had a loved one die, they are in the acute stages of grief during one of the hap-happiest times of the year.
In the shadow of merry-making, grief feels heavier and almost impossible to recover from. The darkness of despair, loss and lonliness seem amplified against the bright, Christmas lights.
For some reason death rates skyrocket during the month of December. I’ve often thought that it’s a combination of the first real cold-weather snap, and the stress and pressure of the season.
Whatever the reason, this season more than any, can be one of the most difficult for those in the funeral profession.
For anyone out there who is experiencing the loss of a loved one, know that our hearts go out to you. It is our calling to provide you with the professional support that you need during this time.
For funeral directors, please remember that at this time of year, you too need to take some of your own advice to slow down, take time with your family, and remember that you need to rejuvenate your own spirit in order to reignite the spark in someone else.
Wishing you peace this holiday season.